The big news from Thursday is that I have FINALLY DONE IT, I used the manual hoist to be lowered into the big pool at my local leisure centre. For someone who has always loved exercise and pushing myself to the extremes in fitness I have found pain from exercise and not being able to do it really difficult to get my head round.
Acceptance has been nearly impossible for me over the years and it has been a constant battle for me. Each time I struggled to do a new activity I had to start a new journey of acceptance and I struggled to get it each time. You’d think it would get easier, but no alas the older I get the harder it gets to accept, especially when it is simple things like getting socks on. A number of things have helped me challenge myself, my family, my famiends, my Pain Management Team, the Paralympian Super Humans and this last 2 weeks I realised more than ever @TheLastLeg has. I watched Alex Brooker’s inspired speech about Alex Zanardi and I realised if I was writing one I would be talking about Alex and Adam Hills.
They have taught me to enjoy life again and to start living again. That anyone looking at me with a funny expression in my Wheelchair or as I get out and back behind the wheel of my car, or even walking on my crutches it is their problem not mine. That disabled people are allowed a sense of humour, can take the p!ss out of one another and their own disabilities and that we should be out and about in the public mixing with others………….how dare we hey! I haven’t totally accepted who I am and probably becoming disabled in my late twenties I never will as I have so many memories of pre-accident Seachy but if I can get back to doing things I used to than that is a massive plus. I enjoy swimming as the water takes the pressure off my spine and body and floating around I look normal. The problem is getting in to the pool I stick out like a sore thumb being slowly winched in and out of the water. It has taken me months no years to build up the courage to use the manual hoist, the indignity of having to have someone else help me in to the pool and added to this it means I cannot take my LG swimming independently as what do I do with her for the few minutes it takes them to lower me in and out of the pool, leave her bobbing around in a swim vest, or terrorising others on poolside? After several goes on the hoist at my hydrotherapy at the hospital (I thought the electric hoist was slow) I built up to this week getting back in to the pool.
Without the Last Leg and my support network I do not think I would ever have got there, and I have this week written on their facebook page the following “I need to let you know that your show has enabled me to accept my disability so much, has helped me more than I could ever have imagined. Simple things like not being embarrassed to get out of my chair and stretch, to laugh at the pain and the things I don’t do and things like falling over unexpectedly, laughing the way you all do about disability it’s hilarious and heart warming and you have over the last 4 years helped me as much if not more than the many consultants and medications I take to challenge myself more each day and to push harder than I would have. I thought my daughter would grow up missing out, you have made me realise actually her life is enhanced being with me. Oh and to finally get one of my tweets mentioned made my day too this week #paralympicnames Alfie Chewetts :-)”
Whether they will read it I do not know, but I am in no way shape or form a super human and living with chronic pain I will never become a Super Human Paralympian but to know there is life out there if you want to risk reaching out for it and we all have something to offer has been immense in me setting new goals and pushing my own boundaries. I am however more than ever determined to fundraise for a pool pod to be able to get back independent entry into the pool and accessing it with my LG at the same time.